Rats run rampant in East Somerville

On June 6, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

East Somerville residents have been spotting more rats than ever lately. Bigger ones, too.

East Somerville residents have been spotting more rats than ever lately. Bigger ones, too.

By Harry Kane

“There were three giant rats just playing. I mean, they’re nocturnal animals, so for them just be out during the daylight is a big deal,” said Toni Brogna, a resident of Mt. Vernon Street in East Somerville.

Brogna owns a duplex at 19-21 Mt. Vernon St. She’s lived at the house for nearly 35 years. Brogna’s parents recently passed away, and she made the decision to stay in her family house.

For many years, it was rare to see a rat, she recalls. But a couple years ago, Brogna became concerned. “You started seeing rats, a little bit here, a little bit there. You saw them more frequently.”

In the past, the furry pests have been spotted under the McGrath Highway overpass feeding on pigeon carcasses. Apparently, rats eat pigeon droppings and dog stool, too. These scavengers get their nutrition from a variety of sources.

“At the foot of Mt. Vernon Street, 93 goes down towards Sullivan Square, so you are underneath the highway. There are pigeons there all the time,” Brogna said.

Last summer, Brogna remembers more rats than ever before. And this summer she fears the rats will return in larger numbers. “I’ve never seen the quantity, and the size of them. They are getting bigger and bigger,” she said.

Brogna attended a local meeting and alerted city officials that the rats are growing in size and number. “Right now, they’re probably about a foot. They’re huge, they’re probably the size of a small cat.”

Rats produce litters roughly a dozen times per year, with only a 21-day gestation period. These incestuous frenzied cannibals multiply at an astounding rate.

Brogna always had a vegetable garden in her backyard. But this year she won’t be growing her vegetables like in years past. “I want to do everything and anything to prevent the rats from even coming across my property,” she said. “I don’t want to see them, at all.”

Whether Brogna’s backyard is clean or not, the rats scurry through, looking for food and shelter. “I’ve had a few occasions where I go pick up a dead one.”

Brogna just had to replace all of her trash barrels. It cost almost $400 to replace the plastic barrels. The rats had chewed through them. She asks her tenants to keep everything closed and clean. But the rats keep coming back.

“Now you see them in large numbers,” Brogna explained. “You don’t see a rat, you see two or three playing.”

Brogna used to barbeque, garden and spend afternoons in her backyard. No more. “I won’t even go into my backyard anymore. I won’t have a cookout. I don’t want to go back there. I don’t want to seem them,” she said.

A farmer suggested that Brogna use mint spray to keep the pesky rodents away. Since then, she sprays Castile peppermint and oil around her property.

A bunch of residents on Mt. Vernon Street share the same concerns. “We’re all beginning to hire the same exterminators,” she said.

The City of Somerville is not responsible for exterminating rats on private property, so the costs of hiring the exterminator is a price the locals must pay.

Following the last snowstorm, Brogna began hiring the exterminator to bait for this year’s wave of rats. She has spent nearly $600 this year, but she knows it will cost much more to fend off the urban rodents.

Two years ago Somerville brought in specialist Dr. Robert Corrigan from New York to investigate rat infestation. According to Corrigan, rats will come out in the daylight hours when their colony grows too large. Some feel the “rat whisperer” should be brought back to help solve the rampant rodent resurgence.

Elio LoRusso is running for Ward 1 Alderman and lives one street over on George Street. “Basically, my property is in the rear of Toni Brogna’s property.” LoRusso admitted that there is a serious rodent problem in East Somerville. “It’s gotten to a point where we can’t even go out at nighttime and sit on our patio.”

He said the rodents have been appearing more in the past few years, and that last year it was bad, but this year it’s worse.

“If you come to George Street in the afternoon, you’ll see rodents on the sidewalk, on the street, in the yard.” LoRusso said he understands that the city has been baiting but he feels that they need to be more pro-active. “Whatever they’re doing, it’s not working,” he said.

The rodents are affecting the quality of life in East Somerville, LoRusso said. “It’s out of control. It’s something that really needs to be put on top of the priority list.”

Superintendent of Inspectional Services, Goran Smiljic.~Photo by Harry Kane

Superintendent of Inspectional Services, Goran Smiljic. – Photo by Harry Kane

Another distressed resident is Barbara Castro, who lives at 8 Mt. Vernon St. She’s been at that house since 2003. Castro attributes the increased rodent activity to warmer winters, construction and garbage.

“When we sit on the porch, we watch them kinda run from upper Mt. Vernon Street. We’ll see them running across our property. They often go to the neighbors, under the porch,” Castro said.

Castro thinks the massive rats are larger than ever. “Probably the size of large cats or small dogs,” she noted.

The residential properties are using bait boxes to kill the rats, but Castro feels that is like a Band-Aid instead of a solution. The real concern, she added, are the commercial properties on Broadway, but she didn’t want to single any one business out from the rest.

“When you walk along Broadway, the sidewalks aren’t clean, the streets aren’t clean.” Castro thinks people throw trash on the ground, and the businesses’ food attracts the rats.

Castro said the worst experience she’s had so far happened when she opened her back door, and a rat ran across her feet as she stepped over the threshold.

The new Superintendent of Inspectional Services, Goran Smiljic, took over a few weeks back and understands that some “major changes” need to be made to avert rodent infestation before it gets even more out of control.

Right now, there’s a tracking system in place to alert the city of repeated rodent sightings. This database will be overhauled in the coming months to better enforce the rodent related concerns in Somerville, according to Smiljic.

Smiljic admitted that he is still learning about the ways to reduce rodent population. “I’ve never dealt with this many rat issues,” he said.

A new cutting edge pilot program in New York’s subway system was recently launched to sterilize female rats. If successful, the product, which is orally administered to rats, could cure Somerville of the diabolical rodents.



126 Responses to “Rats run rampant in East Somerville”

  1. Jef Taylor says:

    Paying to bring Bobby Corrigan in again seems like an expensive solution. He will tell Somerville the same thing he said two years ago: remove the food sources and the nesting habitat and then you can get control of the rats. Killing a few rats each week with rodenticide bait won’t get on top of the problem since each female produces, on average, 8 new pups every four weeks. Somerville needs to mandate rodent-proof trash receptacles for residents and commercial properties, and to ticket violators of the health codes (make people pick up trash).

    As far as cat-sized rats go, I’ve noticed that the more people are afraid or or aggravated with rats, the bigger they seem to get. In reality the biggest male Norway rat tops out at around 1 pound.

  2. QTMARIE says:


  3. JAR says:

    What you need is a few good-sized alley CATS in the area. They’ll chase away any rats, no matter the number or size.

  4. dbs says:

    doug up back yard huge holes on myrtle st.

  5. Paul says:

    100% agree with Jef. We need to focus on prevention.

  6. MarketMan says:

    Someville needs to start enforcing laws that are normal for most towns and cities: pick up trash, keep property well kept, remove debris in yards, keep grass and weeds cut short, etc. Why are so many properties allowed to have overgrown weeds and tons of debris? Why are the property owners and/or residents not fined?

    I brought this up with the city MANY MANY times. I even spoke to THE person who is supposedly in charge: Ed Nozzo. His response was that we have laws against those things. I said, yes there may be laws but they are not being enforced. I gave him an example of a property that has had 3 abandoned cars, overgrown weeds, and tons of debris for at least 6 years! His response was “give me the address and we’ll deal with it”. One year later and more phone calls, nothing has been done!!

    That’s why we have rats. Nobody maintains or takes care of their property. We are giving the rats food and places to live/hide.

  7. paul says:

    Fine any business or person whose trash is contributing to a food source. Fines are great, they raise revenue and they improve behavior, and they are a choice because you can change your behavior to avoid them.

  8. Harry says:

    CATS? The rats are so big they would eat the cats for breakfast!

  9. Jennifer says:

    OMG! Read this, and this is exactly what we are going through over here, in the neighborhood by the Healey school! HUGE RATS EVERYWHERE! Even in the day! Watched one jump out if the trash can in font of the school during school hours, run across the playground & into the yards of the residents. I have been in tough with the city & they seem to be very responsive, so are the residents in this area. One thing though that really upsets me is that if residents have trash cans without a lid, they get $100 fine, yet there is NOT one lid on any trash cans in the whole city. How is that fair or helping??? The city needs to use the money collect from the fines to replace ALL trash cans with rodent proof ones!!

  10. East Villen says:

    The rats in East Somerville are out of control. They come out at high noon – they just don’t care. Go to the kid’s playgrounds at dusk and you will see rodents playing there. It’s a disgrace but the city doesn’t seem to care.

  11. Rachel says:

    As a Somerville resident, I too have experienced the rat infestation on several occasions, including a rat that scampered by my feet when putting out my covered, raccoon-proof trash can.

    As a individual who rents, I am also frustrated by the fact that the Somerville resident has to cover the expenses for any rodent infestation costs. I think the renting audience is one major factor that has been left out of this situation and discussion. I also maintain my yard and trash on a weekly basis. I still have a rat that lives under my shed. In fact, the rat kicked out the friendly groundhog that previously lived under there.

    I tend to agree with Barbara Castro’s comment in the article that the increase in construction projects around Somerville has increased the rat population. It would be interesting to see if there is correlation in rat spotting and activity in relation to the various construction projects in the area.

  12. Lisa says:

    I’ve lived on pinckney street for 8 years and this year is the worst it’s ever been. So many rats in my yard, dozens of them at a time. We too replaced our trash bins and have done everything possible to get rid of them. Nothing works and the city doesn’t want to help us.

  13. Harry says:

    People, rats are our saviors when you think about it! Let’s just spread the news. Do you really think the California yuppies would want to live in a city invaded by gigantic rats? That’s our plan, my friends.

  14. Observer says:

    How about inspecting the trash and recycling trucks parked across the street from Mt Vernon. The city’s contract calls for them to be power washed on a regular basis. The company also has a lot at McGrath near South, Medford and Gore streets.

  15. Anna says:

    In all my 30 years in this city, we have never had such a rat problem. And it is city-wide, they are all over West Somerville, too.
    All of the construction projects are definitely a huge factor. And the city refuses to make the developer responsible for the costs of extermination. A friend had a huge rat infestation that began at the same time as a construction project and it cost her 100s of dollars. All the city will do is bait the sewer, which doesn’t help when they are burrowing to the back of your house.
    Another factor is the city trash barrels, placed in parks, playgrounds, bike path, etc., are open. I have seen these over the weekend filled with food and dog poop. How long does it sit there before it is emptied?
    And don’t forget that we are now allowed to raise chickens in our backyards. I can’t imagine that that would be a rat deterrent.
    But in my opinion, the biggest reason of all is the city hall employees. The Mayor continues to hire from outside of the city. These people do not know the city, and don’t really care about it. They show up, collect a check, and go home. We used to have city people in those positions who saw the problems firsthand and addressed them.
    If the city allows this problem to fester and worsen, you will see a lot of fancy, high-end condos sitting empty. Because all of the street festivals and music festivals in the world will not keep people here if they are fighting with rats for territorial rights. It is certainly one of the issues that is pushing me closer and closer to leaving.

  16. Chris Birch says:

    Interesting, all of this.

    I’ve lived in E. Somerville for 7 years now. I walk daily down Broadway to Sullivan Sq. Station.

    To this day, I’ve never seen a rat. So, there’s one data point.

    Rats the size of cats and dogs? Doesn’t happen. Witness testimony in these cases see to be very unreliable, or a the very least “enhanced.”

  17. danna says:

    they have completely taken over myrtle street its so unbelievably nasty its crazy. They are everywhere I can barely go out side and play with my daughter

  18. danna says:

    Chris Birch one day you will see they are the size of CATS and SMALL dogs you just haven’t seen one yet. I have seen it. ITS crazy believe it or not!

  19. Jackie Velos says:

    Just last month, my son was attacked by 3 of these monsters. He was eating chips outside and they just started chasing him! We called the cops, but they said to call the city.

  20. Maureen says:

    The rats are rat sized. Why is that not enough? We are overrun with them – I regularly call out to them when I’m heading out to the backyard so that they will at least run away – yesterday there was a rat sitting on my front porch when I got home – he looked at me and jumped off the stairs – I talked to an ethical exterminator who essentially told me that I should set lots of traps but that it’s not really going to help because the problem is too large and there are too many non-compliant neighbors – he was too nice to take my money for a job that I could fail just as well at on my own as with his help.

  21. gloria says:

    I agree MORE LARGE CATS LESS DOGS if the rats smell the cats thats the ends also the mayor of slummerville needs to get our fine people to keep our city clean when i grew up in som in the 50s and 60swe took pride of our city

  22. Harry Dunn says:

    Where are all the rats going to go when they tear down the transfer station on Poplar Street????? It’s sadly going to get much worse.

  23. amen says:

    so, true Maureen-who cares what size? but whoever said 1 lb is the largest is all wet. We’ve multiplied number of restaurants and festivals and havent’ changed any rodent control, a ‘recipe’ for disaster.
    ALSO, this was my objection to Alderman considering allowing farmyard animals. Anyone who lives near the Chicken Farm behind Kennedy School would agree. Chicken food/droppings attract rodents. and now the City thinks we should encourage poultry farms. I saw a rat crossing right in front of a school, def. more than a lb.

  24. amen says:

    Harry Dunn-great point. without some advance planning, tearing that thing down will explode the area with rats. Anyone think there’ll be some advance planning?

  25. Mariana says:

    Advance planning? You’re right that when the transfer station is demolished, the pricey Brickbottom and surrounding areas will be overrun. Wait until they start digging in Union Square, which is already overrun. But the city doesn’t need to plan, because when they end up on or in your property, the city and developers agree that it is your fault and your responsibility to deal with it. Even if it were your fault, this can’t be dealt with piecemeal. It needs a serious, city-wide approach which no one wants to talk about. And covering your barrels isn’t going to do it, especially when dumpsters and city barrels all over the city aren’t doing the same, and dogs are running free in all of our beautiful parks. They’ll be calling us Slummerville again.

  26. Steve Keenan says:


    I get the feeling you don’t like yuppies. Even yuppies need love. God bless you, brother.

  27. Harry says:


    I probably make more money then most CA yuppies, but that is not the point! I’m living in the family house that was passed down to me. I’m not displacing anybody. I’m not soaked with the silly PC ideas that messed up CA. And I don’t feel I’m superior to my fellow Villens. I’m here to stay and I want the people who have been living here for a long time to be able to stay here, not getting displaced by outsiders who are just destroying the community.

  28. Brian K. says:

    There are so many rats in East Somerville that they are turning up as road kill on a regular basis. I’ve had to hurdle a couple during jogs. They are huge and I see them in the middle of the day all the time!

  29. Anna says:

    Watched a rat in my backyard this morning. It was still early, but well past the time that the sun came up. This was never an issue in our residential neighborhood in between Davis and Porter, but in talking with my neighbors it is apparently becoming a common occurrence. There is too much constant development going on, too much digging everywhere. Also, the city needs to get rid of the open trash containers in the parks and the bike path. I can cover my trash all I want, but when I walk through the park and onto the bike path on Saturday or Sunday night, and the barrels are overflowing with food and dog poop, I think ‘what’s the point’? They need to replace the fancy wrought iron with rodent-proof trash containers because this problem is getting out of hand and will start driving out the yuppies whom the mayor loves so much.

  30. Harry says:

    If the rats will drive the yuppies outta Somerville, then the rats are my friends! Fellow rats, let’s do it!!!

  31. Dana says:

    Seems the media is now focusing on the infestation of rats in East Somerville. I mean honestly you can walk past some places on Broadway, especially after the construction and smell their dead carcasses. What should happen is that all the food businesses should be inspected, or better yet maybe I’ll just not eat at another Somerville restaurant.

    The construction has unearthed their nests, the abandonded buildings are their shelters and breeding grounds. Somerville is a nice place, but it’s pretty unclean. You either dodging dog poop, or just plain filth. Cross Street is pretty disgusting and the residents their could care less.

  32. Townie says:

    Anna, Harry, Dana, you are all spot on! I live near the bike path and the overflowing trash containers on the weekends are disgusting. They are also overflowing with food and other trash in the park, which is why people are beginning to see rats in the park as well. It is mainly due to the construction everywhere, but it is also true that I have never seen this city dirtier than it is right now. King Joe doesn’t seem to care how the city looks to us peasants, as long as it looks good when the festival-goers, musicians,or runners descend. Mayor Capuano wouldn’t let so much as a yard sale sign remain on a city tree or post. This situation doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon.

  33. Boston Kate says:

    “and the residents their could care less.”

    You mean the residents ‘there’ ‘couldn’t’ care less. The absentee landlords are the ones that don’t give a damn, not the owners-in-residence.

  34. suck on it Kate says:

    I truly hate when someone corrects a minor spelling error instead of : A, letting it go, knowing everyone slips up or has damned auto correct. or B. focusing on their/there point. I think we all knew the meaning without your specious (look that up) corrections.

  35. Somerbreeze says:

    Good article. Matt McLaughlin will have his hands full with this issue in East Somerville alone…

    Matt, get your Pied Piper on!

  36. gloria says:

    why do we PAY so much property taxes each year if the city of slummerville desnt help the residents there get after that mayor PROTEST if you need too yell a little louder DEMAND to be heard COME ON even if you need to put out POISON or TRAPS if thats the only way take matters in your own hands do it i grew up in somerville it was great back then

  37. Boston Kate says:

    Suck on it, suck on it Kate. They didn’t make a point. They said that people ‘could care less’, implying that there is still room to care. Wah, wah. Suck on that.

  38. Richelle says:

    Chris Birch, I walked past the Mount Vernon a few weeks ago, as I do three days a week. There was a large dead rat right in the middle of the street. I’m glad you missed it, because it was disgusting.

  39. Darnell says:

    I’m told there are rats up at City Hall. Anyone seen any. If there aren’t, then maybe we can find out what the City does to keep rats out of City Hall. But I’m told that there is some vermin at City Hall.

  40. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    The next master plan of our illustrious mayor is sterilization of all rats, as implemented by NY city, a day late and always a dollar short. The reason for rats is ongoing development of multiple projects. Many have lived by the Mystic River. The tab should be on developers and it’s the city administration who are ultimately responsible for the safety and health of our citizens when it comes to rat infestation at pandemic proportions.

  41. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    You are right, there are big rats at City Hall, but they don’t run on fours.

  42. ritepride says:

    They should have the state come in, declare that it is so bad all food establishments in effected areas will be closed till it is corrected. Then the resulting lawsuits from the food establishments against the mayor and other officials, liens on their homes and investment portfolios. Then you will see action.

    Time for all the free ride$ for the developer$ to $TOP.

  43. Cross Street says:

    Well it’s time for the Annual Somerville Running of The Rats. Saw one dashing across Cross Street in the middle of the day, while a resident smiled and walked his doggie!! Now let’s see when this will get some attention, which television station has to cover this epidemic? Whose child has to be bitten while outside playing. What if the rat had decided to attack the doggie that was’t much bigger than it.

    It always takes someone getting hurt or worse before action is really taken. Somerville officials need to stop talking and actually do something. No, wait for the Bubonic Plague to make it’s reoccurance in good ol’ Somerville.

  44. bob says:

    This article was originally posted in June, 2013. Almost a year ago. What has been done since then? What has changed? As usual, a lot of talk, but not followed up with action.

  45. Hinckley Street says:

    They are on Hinckley Street too–saw them a few months ago. My alderman seems to be too busy with Lowell Street to care even with the emails and 311 calls that me and my neighbors have made. I am not worried and neither are they…2015 is right around the corner.

  46. A. Moore says:

    For a second I thought it was election time again when I saw running of the rats. Figured it was just another reason to shut down the city again. At least it’s not so bad as it is only the 4 legged kind.

  47. Somerbreeze says:

    A Running of the Rats would be a great benefit to cover the costs of envelope-printing for the Dah Envelope Puhleeze Program at City Hall!

    This could become a great local annual event, with all vehicular traffic banned, especially fire trucks, ambulances and The Ride. To amp the event, Ms. Confetti could make lots of conflicting robo-calls to residents. Oh, the joy!

    Better put in your orders for rat costumes at Boston Costume; they’ll be flying off the shelves in short order!

  48. Boss Jonny says:

    Rats will be squashed by Goran the Terrible! :)

  49. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    The only rats we need to worry about cannot be driven out as easily as those living in dumpsters and by the mystic.

  50. Hinckley Street says:

    Some of us have to deal with this issue on a daily basis. I really don’t appreciate your disregard. Save your BS for another post. My alderman does nothing. Someone–anyone–please help!!

  51. Aldo Del Topo says:

    Squeak! Squeak! Rat invasion… :)

  52. A.Moore says:

    When I get nowhere with my alderman I move up to alderman at large. So far this has worked for response.

  53. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Do what the union guys are doing by the job site by Lechmere. Protest with a large sign illustrating a giant rat and hang out at city hall, I’m sure that will get attention. Don’t forget to call all the news stations and local press before you arrive. Then again don’t call the press, just surprise them and bring as many residents, friends and family you can bring. Hand out flyers on street corners, residents of other wards will come. Call the statehouse and make some noise. One thing they don’t like is negative publicity. Do assembly row occupants want rats for new customers or part of their new condo landscape? It’s only across the street from Broadway, rats can travel.

  54. Aldo Del Topo says:

    I go directly to Goran the Rat Destroya! :)

  55. Ratking says:


    You should be welcoming the CA yuppies. It is their ideals that will help repair this shattered excuse for a town we call East Somerville. It sounds like the people who have been living here all this time ARE the problem, you let stuff sit around long enough and dont clean up the properties that you worked so hard to get passed down to you. Well done.

  56. annie says:

    Publicity is a good idea. Remember a few years ago when there was a mouse infestation at one of our brand new schools? A story in the Herald prompted by parents had a huge impact!
    Hinckley Street, it’s a sad situation. But it’s hard to be bothered with the constituents when you are so busy trying to build up your retirement. Being bounced from that city job a few years back sure didn’t help with the nest egg building! On to 2015……..

  57. Pearl and Cross Streets says:

    Well two years later and it’s 2015 Summer has begun and the rats are running wild again. We’re not winning the war on rats here in Somerville. Admit it, trying to make Broadway the Gateway to Assembly Mall is the only focus the city has. What’s to the left and right of Broadway, they don’t care so much about!! Somerville is filthy, and people keep planting their little gardens to feed themselves and the rats. No, that wasn’t a puppy that just ran by that was a rat. And yes they are as big as a small chihuahua. I’ve witnessed one scampering home across Pearl Street.

    It won’t stop until people clean up the area (which won’t happen until the rich want to expand into lowly East Somerville). What’s disturbing is they are openly active during the day light in the Summer. Wait until someone’s child gets bitten, then we’ll get more rhetoric from our political leaders.

  58. betsy says:

    I agree that the city as a whole is filthy. And not just private property. The squares are dirty, dusty, and dingy. When the bubble bursts peoples’ eyes will be opened.

  59. Salie Sacagawea says:

    When housing bubble bursts? What will happen then?

  60. LindaS says:

    Blame “gentrification” for the rats, too. All the construction going on in Somerville, between the GLX and the never-ending condos and apartments here, it’s no wonder we can’t get rid of the rats. Just wait till they start tearing up the streets for the sewer upgrades.

    But of course, the mayor will never blame it on any of that, he’ll just continue to blame it on the residents and landlords only. Do we have THAT many slobs in our “All American City”?

  61. A.Moore says:

    Salie Sacagawea, when the bubble bursts we will have plenty of nice home for the rats. We keep them in there and off the city streets.

  62. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    “Gentrification is not a haphazard process that happens by accident. It is systemic in nature and sanctioned by a faulty legal system.

    Gentrification is often explained away as a needed phenomenon. The community “needs” the often White and well-to-do invaders to move into the neighborhood to improve it. In other words, the current residents are not “invested” in the neighborhood, as they are “not good enough” to develop it on their own. The local culture is destroyed as new, wealthier people flood into a community. The newcomers take over all elements of the community, bringing in their own “superior” culture, such as more expensive restaurants and entertainment venues. This escalates and expands the dislocation to include existing businesses. It is all legal, built on decades of laws based on the rights of the powerful few and not on the human rights of the many”.


    “What was once abundant and taken-for-granted now costs Jeanette’s mother almost $10 for just one piece of fruit.

    Whole Foods replaced Hi-Lo in 2011 after its long-time owners retired. This brought about both excitement and disappointment from Latino customers. Some were upset about losing a piece of home, while others were excited about change. Some worried there would be no place to find their products, and others–like Jeanette’s mother–worried that if Latin American products were sold at Whole Foods, the prices will increase even more”.


  63. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Assembly Square has been dormant for many years. The area they dug up, by the mystic river was filled with long time businesses which saw no excavation in previous years, and then suddenly they unearth 100 years of rat habitat.

    We in Ward 7, experienced an increase of mice during the construction of the Davis Sq., MBTA stop. Mom’s solution, we adopted a cat for mice control. It worked, but we also needed to use baits and poison.

    The blame game against homeowners and businesses is to avoid developer responsibility, since this problem and expense of rat control should fall on their digging, not on residents. And it gives our ticket obsessed administration, another avenue to falsely accuse residents and restaurant owners, when the problem lies solely on the developer.

    The rats scatter, just like the mice did when the T was extended in Davis Sq. They are displaced by upheaval of existing homes and are then forced to look for alternative homes. The bonus for the rats, is a free meal, but it’s not the cause. It’s neglect by the developer to ensure the rats don’t make it out to our neighborhoods. Personally, I think it’s another way to discouraged residents from staying.

    I find it shocking that allowing rats to continue to enter our neighborhoods without holding developers responsible, has not forced the health department to get involved. They should also be investigating the neglect of our sewers which caused back ups into basements and apartments. That is also a health code violation because both issues can effect the health of those being effected. I guess the city doesn’t care about lawsuits since they’ve got plenty of taxpayers to pay.

    It’s really like living in the twilight zone. When you hear the mayor at meetings, he openly extends his preferential treatment to those with such absurd ideas like planting flowers and carving paths on Prospect Hill, referring to our neighboring city as ‘tards, because a resident complained about their allowing trucks to enter our city. Like our city has suddenly banned trucks? What the hell are these people thinking. No one else dares to ask a really serious question. Oh, and the random guy displacing a festival promoting tank has been donating all his free time to city landscaping, while the mayor invites him to stop by for some money to buy the plants. He gives the same lengthy, incomprehensible speech to every meeting. Does anyone else get there is a problem with not allowing residents to voice concerns at meetings? Well, I do. And his showing up unannounced at the boa zoning meeting, challenging the aldermen is proof enough we need not only a new mayor, but a managerial for of city government. It’s really time for a change, if we have any hope of surviving the next 10 years.

  64. Jerry Klein says:

    Gentrification? Yea, right. Leaving dilapidated old buildings standing instead of rebuilding anew is the answer to the rodent problem. This bunch is unbelievable.

  65. Angeleek says:

    Dear Pixel,

    The rats in my house are very gentrified. Top hats and tails. Tiny tea cups and their eyes glow green at night while I’m trying to sleep and buzzing buzzing. I’m so alone.

  66. Freebie says:

    Anyone ready for some real data AGAIN? The rat sightings will never be zero unfortunately. And we probably need to wait until the heat of summer to see how these numbers look then – but hey let’s acknowledge improvement when there is data to support it.

    “There have been 24 reports of rodent sightings this year, compared to 103 to date in 2014. And in the last 365 days, there have been 372 sightings reported – a 36 percent decrease from the previous 365-day period.”


  67. Freebie says:

    Gentrification in a contentious topic. I personally think it’s getting out of hand here in the last few years with the millionaires coming in droves, but there are two sides to every story to consider. I tend to lend much more credibility to an organization like Brookings Institute than I do the sensationalists at thuthout.org.



  68. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    A biased think tank in DC founded by banksters. I’m sure that’s real undiluted, uncensored research and reporting. Wiki tells all.

    Truth out is a nonprofit with well know writers, Zinn, Chomsky, etc., etc., etc. By the people, For the people.

  69. LindaS says:

    Freebie, Jerry Klein,

    I definitely agree that there are two sides to every story, so it’s easy to disagree when we don’t know enough of the facts.

    With regard to the rats, I definitely don’t think we should leave buildings to rot here, but we also need to understand that whenever we start upsetting the landscape, it’s going to have repercussions with regard to any life that’s been living in it previously undisturbed.

    When I worked in Harvard Square years ago, our building was renovating the basement floor. All of a sudden we started seeing cockroaches on some of the upper floors, and this was a building that was regularly cleaned and kept free of any pests, and nobody had ever seen them before the renovations began.

    It wasn’t until the renovations were completed that the sightings thankfully stopped.

    So, while poor upkeep of property can be a major contributing factor to an increase in pest population being seen, construction is also a cause because it shakes up the area enough to scare any underground life to the surface.

    Even if everyone in Somerville keeps their property clean, as long as there continues to be any kind of construction, there will still be some amount of rodent population being driven above ground.

  70. Johnnie Jazz says:

    The real rats are all at city hall on 2 legs. If we can delouse city hall we’ll be fine with the 4 legged ones.

  71. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    The issue with rats has given the city a green light on issuing tickets for not having barrel covers. We were never required to have barrel covers in the past and it’s absurd that they would issue tickets except on the night before trash day. I guess the rats know which day of the week they have to reserve for fasting.

    More importantly, colleges have rodent and insect populations due to the overcrowding, difficulty in keeping up with maintaining trash removal and keeping dumpsters clean. Some of the Madagascar roaches escaped from a lab and contributed to the population. One got stuck to my lint brush inside my desk. As I pulled open the drawer, there it was starring up at me. The two other women in the office were up on chairs in past sightings. One of the professor’s took a plastic cup, removed the roach from the sticky lint brush and just let it loose on the campus lawn.

    This situation in our city has nothing to do with the condition of resident and restaurant property.

    The rats scatter because they have been under attack by tons of excavation equipment and bulldozed out of their underground nests.

    Plus, it’s a known fact they live by the marsh and river. We use to see them swimming in the mystic canal when we took out boat out to the Boston Harbor.

    Yes, we’ve always had rats, so do a lot of communities that sit along the Charles River. So how do they control the problem? You don’t hear anyone complaining about it and you don’t see rats running in the streets of Comm Ave., or Cambridge, do you? Maybe it’s because they make developers and colleges pay to take care of it. Does anyone truly believe we will get a substantial commercial tax increase that will pay the increased expenses? We have become a bedroom only commodity. Cambridge and Boston will be profiting on billions of commercial tax, while we give up our properties for people who need a bed. That’s the reality. Anything else is liberal propaganda, a weak attempt by profiteers and politicians looking to polish their resumes.

  72. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    The biggest rats of all….

    “With so many corruptbankers, politicians, and other one-percenters still free to walk the streets here in the United States, why has the U.S. Department of Justice set its sights on…..”

    Ask yourselves why the banksters continue to break laws, steal homes from homeowners who can afford to pay mortgages, (definitely ties into to widespread gentrification and why our pols are finally worried about the fact they could be planning to take over our city) get fined billions for their crimes only to set up shop under another ponzie scheme, scamming millions more vulnerable homeowners.


  73. Jillian Rey says:

    This so-called “gentrification” is little more than what used to be called “urban renewal” – replacing the old with the new. Whether the marketplace demands condos or popsicle stands is up to the marketplace itself, and its demands will prevail. There are no grand conspiracies or secret cabals manipulating the bigger picture, as some unbalanced people may believe. However, if it makes one feel important to tilt at such imaginary windmills, then by all means enjoy.

  74. Johhnie Jazz says:

    Pix, wait… what? You have a boat?

  75. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    It was a cigarette boat, checkmate. It belonged to former boyfriend along with a Larson replica Kawasaki. Those were the days when construction was at its peak and banksters, outsourcing, union targeting and globalization, corruption and grafting had not yet dug it’s fangs into our financial prosperity from hardworking and true democratic process. Now it’s become a total shakedown turning innocent people upside down shaking their pockets until there’s nothing Ieft. Those were the good ole’ days when we had a strong middle class. Now we’ve got millions of people saddled with debt because the dumbest guys in finance think stealing all the money will make them the world’s leaders. Well, that’s what Hitler, Stalin and Madoff thought, too and we saw how that turned out. The French Revolutionaries and South America had it right. At some point, the people will rise up and demand justice. It’s already happening in parts of our world. That’s why occupy WS was met by hired mercenaries who pretend to be our civil servants and protectors. It’s no joke, NWO is real.

  76. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    You must be one of their benefactors. How’s that corporate job going?

    The “market” is controlled by the political system who either allow themselves to be corrupted by the evil empire on Wall Street or stand by their oath which is to serve a diverse constituency.

    I wager we have a number of unbalanced, highly disturbed, narcissistic socio+psychopaths running our financial markets. Pardon me if you and your friends can handle the harsh truth mainstream media has been paid off not to report.

    “Inside Job”, by Ferguson proves it. They are nothing but self-aggrandizing ass@les, who bet on the market with innocent people’s lives. If we only had a judicial system with some b@lls, maybe we could see them spending 100 years sitting next to Bernie Madoff instead of injecting taxpayers and homeowners stolen money and lives into building more of this egocentric bull$hit which do nothing to stabilize the lives of the poor and working class.

    So tell us how gentrification will improve the lives of people making $60k and under.

    Somerville is not Suckerville. If you and your friends think our town is the next easy mark, think again. Many of us have lived through urban war so we are prepared to fight for our homes, whatever it takes.

  77. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    A Harvard lawyer who works probono, to help people fight to remain in their homes admits the predatory banksters are in fact, “Syndicated”. So why don’t you go swing from that ugly puritan windmill of yours and blow.

  78. ButtonPushed says:

    Exactly. Whenever challenged by logic and actual facts you turn nasty, insulting and go all Alex Jones on us, betraying your true mental instability. You and your small band of psycho-thugs are your own worst enemies. Yes, by all means, do continue. 😛

  79. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Inside Job

    Aka a fact based documentary by MIT postdoc, film producer Ferguson, who exposed the “conspiracy”, to rob trillions from citizens, taxpayers, homeowners, pension holders, investors, towns, cities, businesses across the nation and globe.

    You might be able to find a website that still let’s you watch for free or you can pay Google $2.99. Sounds like you can afford it. Enjoy.


  80. Angeleek says:

    Dear Pixel,

    I have smoked a boat and I know how harsh special effects can go against us locals without horses. Just say no to drugs and helicopters. No Largactil no Haldol no Orap no Stelazine no Dolmatil no Solian no Abilify no Clozaril no Zyprexa no Seroquel no Risperdal no no no. Wheat Chex.

  81. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Do lame attempts at local native censorship pay female employees by the word or incomprehensible jibberish ?

    It will be okay, when your superhero moves onto greener $ pastures, maybe you can ride his coat-tails, or maybe not.

  82. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Nasty equates to subhuman corporate welfare recipients and their tag along who feel they reign superior to working class citizens. Do not confuse a rational attempt at debate, with any weak argument to the contrary. I’ve taken college courses too at a so called Ivy League college. I’ve also worked aside the best and the brightest, also worked with complete @ssoles who felt they were the next calling for Christ. What generally happens is the phony’s are eventually exposed for who they truly. They can only hide behind their money, degrees and protectors for so long. It’s true, reputations matter. A good reputation will outlast the bad and once ruined, the rotten will eventually reach the point of no return.

  83. Pie-Eyed Piper says:

    The spelling in some of the responses is atrocious…call if you need me.

  84. LindaS says:

    Guess the rats aren’t the only ones who turn on each other when they get crowded in.

    Maybe some folks should put that displaced aggression to good use and help deplete the rat population. :-)

    I think all of these points are good ones, even if some people don’t always like the way in which it’s delivered. Just because you don’t like the messenger, that doesn’t mean the message isn’t any good.

    I’m sure that rats have always been here, but poor sanitation in some areas contributed to their growth, and construction upheaval is also doing it’s share. Most of us have new covered receptacles from the city, so it has to have helped somewhat.

    But until the construction dies down (if ever), rats will be forced above ground in areas where they probably weren’t noticed as much before.

    I bet that after earthquakes and natural disasters, people see more of them than they did before, for much the same reason, even if they manage to clean up the area.

    I haven’t seen any where I live, but considering the construction that’s near the area, it’s bound to happen. But I also live right on the other side of the new bike path extension, so with all the dogs that I seen on it now, it might help scare some of them off.

    Of course, it’s also across from Maxwell’s Green. For the amount of money per month that place must take in, they wouldn’t dare let a rat be seen anywhere near it. So I must be safe. :-)

  85. Freebie says:

    The financial crisis and subprime loan debacle was absolutely orchestrated by greedy banisters, this is fact at this point and not really disputed. But the homeowners that took on too much debt, or took equIty from homes with huge valuations that later crashed are idiots for going along with it. The banksters too advantage of homeowners that didn’t know their limits and the banks certainly helped them get underwater. But these homeowners also weren’t children, they should have known better. Instead the taxpayer ended up bailing them out in early 2009. Shame on both the banksters and the homeowners involved.

  86. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    The banks took over 20 million homes from homeowners who were able to pay their mortgages but instead gave themselves free real estate and sold the homes to investors. It was deliberate and they should have been charged under RICO for fraud, extortion and perjury for lying to Congress an the Senate. The bailouts gave them the green light to lobby politicians, steal more homes and ignite the gentrification takeover of major cities. If you paid close attention to the billions of fines, you would realize the banksters are now trying to become landlords and property managers which is the next ponzie scheme. Some people lost their jobs, paid children’s college tuition, medical bills, home improvements. They were suppose to be professionals following the law. Instead, they were a bunch of used car salesmen pretending to be good Samaritans. If you or your family never fell into hardship and needed a loan, you have no clue. The loans were perpetuated by a lethal criminal enterprise who violated many laws. The greater issue is, the government gave them their blessing, then saddled taxpayers with even more debt. The lives ruined, many have been exiled to live in squalor and homelessness. Is that your idea of fair treatment by those promoting the American dream? The wealthiest families have their fingerprints all over it, just as they did in the depression of 1930. I’m so tired of the ignorance by those who sit in judgement of those less fortunate. You should walk one day in their shoes. Maybe then you will get it. I find it amusing you believe the banksters and wall street sharks are going to support your retirements. Wake up, it’s a complete takeover and assault on the working class financial health and well being. They’re forcing everyone out to the abandoned burbs which will be a death sentence for many over run by crime and drug dens. The elite will take our cities and never have to deal with working class again. Out of sight, out of mind. They will be warehoused like cattle, same as nursing homes do to our elderly. If you’re not getting this, you are living under a rock.

  87. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    I find it interesting that while they blame the residents for chicken poop, they forget to mention thousands of new liberal dog owners who walk their dogs in and around Foss Park and Winter Hill, piling up the dog poop everywhere.

    I would bet the rats are attracted to the smell of dog poop more than the small number, if any at all, of chicken poop, which I feel is a racist remark, while again being too cowardly to call out another major contributor to attracting rats. So 1– dog owners should bring the bagged dog poop back home and dispose of it in plastic garbage bags then into their own sealed garbage barrels, or 2- the city should put more barrels out so the barrels are not overflowing.

    Some posters mentioned this last year on previous comments when the rat sightings grew in number.

    Bottom line, the city should be doing more to stop the rats. But again, we see that it only effects people in sections of the city who aren’t considered special and don’t butch 24/7 like the entitled liberal crowd. Trust me, if the liberals had to deal with a rat problem, they would be calling Obama and threatening to cut off donations to their local representatives, probably their lawyers, too. Most people who live on the east side are too busy working 3 jobs and raising families, and their not a bunch of sniveling cry babies like the liberals you never stop with demands or complaints about our “blighted”, city. The blight exists in their pathological minds. There is enough filth in the way of life by Wall Street to compare them to evil dictators of previous centuries. But those are the people they praise because all the stolen homes have been turned into trillions of funding for projects which will serve the liberal elite and their gentrification. I have followed many articles about the housing issues and it’s all true. But don’t expect the media to put it on the front page headlines. Their lawyers would keep the government prosecutor’s tied up in court cases for years, draining more taxpayer millions, so they fine them a few billion every year and everyone goes back to business so it gets repeated again and again. The lower middle class never had a chance, it was intentional, deliberate working class rip off of the century, no jail time for while collar criminals. This is globalization and not US we once knew. Whoever disputes these facts is getting rich off the working class rip off or still enjoying a prosperous and comfortable life. I assure you, they won’t stop until only a few inner circle elite are left holding all our money safely tucked away in their newly created investment holdings. The next housing bubble won’t be the last.

  88. Oliver Seppo says:

    No jail time for Wall Street criminals under Hillary, that is for sure.

  89. LindaS says:


    On an aside here, I will say that there are a lot of responsible dog owners who do clean up after their pets. When I used to walk on the bike path I saw them all the time. But of course there will always be those who think because their dog is pooping on the dirt, you don’t have to clean that. Not to mention those who don’t care one way or the other, even if it’s in front of someone’s house.

    I will also say that I have seen on occasion owners letting their dogs off the leash on the bike path outside Maxwell’s Green. Think there needs to be some police watching of these public areas to make sure that something bad doesn’t happen because someone wanted their dog to get a little more exercise. Even the nicest of dogs can have a bad day, and there’s a reason for having a leash law.

    A lot of factors need to be taken into account for the increase in rats. To say that it’s all because of one reason isn’t really fair or accurate. But until all possibilities have been taken care of, there will likely always be a rat or two showing themselves around.

  90. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Hilary should be sharing a cell next to the banksters. Her and hubby have a lot of skeletons falling out of their closets. House of Cards series is based on their political tyranny. You should check it out.

    I like Bernie Sanders, because he is one of the few pols who spoke out against the never ending tax free for the rich and banksters, when few would dare. They are either too afraid or taking donations, aided and abetted.

    How can we hope to have a president who works for the working class when the powerful lobbyists and banksters now influence elections?

    Ann Coulter once remarked that Hillary got the IRS after hubby’s girlfriends. And that business with whitewater left a lot of unanswered questions. Her emails? The drama never stops. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as recent media has pointed out. Reagan, Bush I&II, Clintons, all bad news and why we are still in 20+ year middle east conflict and ruined economy, poor job market for working class, enabling fraud banks to acquire homes from millions of homeowners. It was rigged to take homes. Of course there were abuses, but few compared to those who thought Greenspan was keeping rates low as promised– surprise. A friend told me to check out Vanity Fair’s articles and recent article provides time lines and where are they now– some are filthy rich while they tossed their competitors into the meat grinder, just as they did to homeowners. Also pointed out that S&L of the 80’same put those responsible in jail, yet these guys just go bankrupt to avoid millions of investor, homeowner lawsuits, then set up shop again and again. It’s clear the criminal enterprise is untouchable and hailed as hero’s to those who benefit.

  91. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Another poster had stated that the city wasn’t emptying out the black iron rod barrels around parks and sidewalks. I agree, if you don’t provide food, the rats won’t come. But preventative maintenance is key and much more successful in not allowing rats to exit Assembly Row. It’s obvious that’s where they are from and didn’t just materialize overnight from an alien spaceship.

  92. LindaS says:

    Hilary’s e-mail fiasco happened years ago, yet funny how she announces she’s running for President again and it suddenly comes up. I don’t remember hearing about this when she was running against Obama, maybe because at the time nobody was really worried that a woman would win, even though she seemed to have a lot of support.

    Now that she doesn’t appear to have any really strong opposition yet, there could be a real chance she might win this time, and so now the dirt comes out to make sure that she looks bad in the public eye.

    The fact is that although it’s illegal now, at that time it was legal to use her e-mail account the way she did, so there really isn’t an issue unless her opponents continue to choose to make it one.

    I have no interest in getting into a political debate, especially since it’s off-topic, but I just think that no matter who runs in an election, there will always be some dirt the opponents can find to use against them, so I try and focus on what they actually plan to do for the country if they get elected.

    Now that we have social media and camera phones, the playing field gets narrowed a lot quicker than it used to. All we need to do is wait until someone gets recorded saying something that they can’t deny saying. Which is happening a lot these days. :-)

    If our own politicians are anything to go by, we’re always going to be screwed either way. It’s more a matter of who’s worse.

  93. amen says:

    Linda S. Throw a lot of mud then say you don’t want to get into politics. Hilary ‘ s email mess happened in her time as Secretary of State. Just recently, and well after her run against Obama. Facts are messy things

  94. Oliver Seppo says:

    Who care about Hillary’s emails? The problem is that she is a total corporatist and pro-war. That is the key problem… Sanders for Prez! :)

  95. LindaS says:

    I don’t think there’s one pol out there with clean hands, so there’s a lot of the pot calling the kettle black out there. Facts only come out when it’s convenient for someone to use them to further their own agenda.

  96. amen says:

    A year ago we heard we were getting an exciting new program to sterilize rats. Seemed great. A year later we find out it never happened. All talk. Rats still everywhere. I call b.s. on anyone saying rats are only 1 lb. Nonsense. Get out and walk around.

  97. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    If Hillary wins the election, this country is doomed. It will be the Bush, Cheney, Clintonian Evil Empire Part III. Monsters, all of them. They stared with Enron, deregulation, dot.com, global mortgage fraud, ponzie schemes, billions in pension holder, investor, homeowner, municipalities ripped off. Not to mention the phony wars, WMD, 911, colonization of foreign countries, depletion of their natural resources for personal gain, all in the name of democracy. These bozos wouldn’t know democracy if it bit them in the ass.

    I’m sure whoever they groom for GOP candidate will be as dumb as Palin, “I see Russia from my kitchen window”, in response to experience in foreign policy. Or, as equally unqualified as Georgie II.

    Is it possible to get someone with experience and a brain? Or is the criteria always those who are willing to obey those really in charge — banking , military and corporations.

  98. Oliver Seppo says:

    In the meanwhile, crazy Rand Paul has been running a very clever and effective campaign so far. He has a shot, I’d say. If he gets Prez, then the country is doomed too, for different reasons. But perhaps the US needs a system shock at that level.

  99. Johnnie Jazz says:

    We neead another Ronald Reagan.

    and locally – TERM LIMITS.

  100. Angeleek says:

    I need another John Ritter. And a Leo Gorcey. And a horse. With limits please. Cold.

  101. Oliver Seppo says:

    The last thing we need is another corporatist demented President like old Ronnie.
    Go get them Bernie! :)

  102. JoAnn Murray says:

    While I agree that most politians are two legged RATS lets keep on the topic at hand.

  103. MarketMan says:

    Reagan??!!! Haha, he tripled the national debt in 8 years. To contrast, the previous debt tripling took 31 years!

  104. LindaS says:

    Think maybe we need to concentrate on the rats in Somerville here? :-)

  105. amen says:

    Palin never uttered the line about seeing Russia. Tina Fey did, and the average voter can’t separate a comedy show from reality.

  106. Johnnie Jazz says:

    Just poison ’em. Tell folks to keep their pets indoors and spread rat poison all over the city. Everywhere. Rats will be gone. End.Of.Story.

  107. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    We are concentrating on the rats in Somerville, and beyond.

  108. Jean says:

    For someone who likes to end the story so often, a lot of sequels tend to be put out. Whatever. Nice to see the enthusiasm, even when it’s completely sociopathic.


  109. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    There are even rats running along the balconies across from the golden dome.

  110. steve says:

    i dont know why – ive lived in e somerville almost 20 years perkins mt pleasant mt vernon st – ive never seen a single rat

  111. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Assembly Square excavation unleashed the rats on the East Side of our city because they want to force out the working class. If they really wanted to take care of the people who presently reside there, the rats would have been gone before they crossed lower Broadway. Once the condo machine starts turning new developments out for the yuppies, the rats will disappear. Cambridge uses black boxes to get rid of their rat problem. Ask the BOA how Cambridge keeps rats from getting into neighborhoods. The answer is, they pay for it, or have developers pay for it, because they are making huge revenues from something we don’t have which is Commercial Tax Revenue and Colleges that pay $20 million in lieu of taxes. It’s easy to keep taking from the little people, and actually hardwork to diversify our tax base because it requires building solid relationships with large companies, and also compromise. Little chump change retail and bars, restaurants only serves their friends and partners. Giving away our properties to non-profits has destroyed our working class city. This is not rocket science folks, it’s just simple marketing strategy which they lack. Why bother, when you can just keep raising residential taxes? An honest and fair administration would work to diversify our tax revenue.

  112. Johnnie Jazz says:

    There’s a building up on Highland – loaded with the 2-legged critters. They munch all day on our wallets.

  113. LindaS says:

    When I lived in East Somerville for the first 30 years of my life, I never saw a single rat there, and since living in West Somerville I haven’t seen one, either. Guess I should consider myself lucky.

    Wherever they are showing up, it has to be due to either poor sanitation or construction. Only way to know is if residents who are spotting them can say whether or not there is still a lot of trash around or there is construction going on nearby.

  114. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Lol….good one, Jazz.


    It’s always been due to construction, but with large populations as in local colleges, there must always be rodent and insect control in place. Most try to avoid the topic because the don’t want to admit it exists, but when I worked at Tufts, employees talked about rodents and roaches seen on campus. There are about 3,000 students and staff and food in dorms, cafeterias, offices. But I never saw rats, but others encountered mice regularly.

    If it happens in neighborhoods, the restaurants are not emptying their dumpsters and I believe it’s rare that a homeowner is at fault. The rats end up in neighborhood’s because they look for food and alternate locations to borrow. If your home was blown up, you’d be poed, too.

  115. LindaS says:

    I’m sure that any large public area, especially where there is food served, has to be well-maintained against rats and roaches, especially to meet health regulations, but some probably manage to get a bit lax when nobody’s looking. :-)

    I think that if there are going to be complaints about rats still being here, there needs to be more overall accountability and not just pointing the finger at residents for all of it. I never hear anything mentioned other than residential neglect for the rat problem, and that’s just not fair.

  116. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    It’s just easier to blame local residents than to address the problem and hold developers accountable. Linda, I have a family member now retired from owning a construction company. He grew up in Somerville and worked on some projects, one was the Cutler School. He told me that developers and the city are responsible for rat control when they dig up land for any large scale project. Also, it’s class and racial discrimination. The issue is blamed mostly on East Somerville, not other parts of the city. My mother was a housekeeper at Tufts for 25 years. She would complain about the amount of filth in dorms and food left around. But she never complained about a rat problem. That’s because the elite would never stand for it. Not their little darlins, and the fact they pay a large sum of money for the ivy league education–


    Our city is on the fast track of becoming a place of the haves and have nots, just like our nation and on a global scale. Unless our representatives figure out a way to reign in criminal enterprising banks, corporations and the elite families who have been given 20 tax breaks and not creating jobs for working class, we will be headed for a revolution in this country. We are definitely ripe for what happened in the 60’s, when protesters marched in the stretch and exposed the same problems we face now. They didn’t want the Vietnam War which took over 50,000 of our soldiers lives. There were also violations of civil rights, and we had leaders who fought to restore peace from ongoing division of class and race, but they too lost their lives fighting a war in the name of peace and democracy. When I was young, I can recall adults condemning hippies and calling them all lazty, college dropouts who were just a bunch of drug addicts. That was a lie to cover up another tragedy left by those in power. History does repeat itself and this time, they’ve got a world wide Web of technology to help them conquer the globe. But it could also backfire through the same technology they created.

  117. LindaS says:

    I guess we just need to wait until the next generation becomes the older generation, then they’ll understand where we’re coming from. :-)

  118. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    It will take a few more recessions and personal materialistic loss, due to their relentless self-absorption and greed, for society to straighten itself out. When we are rewarding thieves in banking and handing our corporate welfare bailouts repeatedly, while homelessness is rising, college graduates are held hostage by predatory student loans, can’t find jobs to pay loans, same for millions of unemployed, our elderly have been abandoned and families can no longer save for their futures—we obviously need a total overhaul of the system.

    Our reps should have never agreed to the now estimated trillions in bailouts. Fining them a few billion does nothing. It’s chump change. They have stolen trillions from the taxpayers of this country and got away with looting their own banks to pay for luxury mcmansions in gated communities. The spending for materialistic gain is sickening, all while working class and poor are forced to live on the streets and in crime infested areas.

  119. LindaS says:

    Just read here that someone else is considering running against the mayor? That’s new. Let’s hope he’s at least willing to see it through, and that he’s got something better to offer.

    The fact that Joe has run unopposed for so long either says that people like what he’s doing, or nobody wants to take the job.

    With all the issues here, I’m willing to bet it’s the latter. :-)

  120. Matt says:

    Take a peek at the proposed candidate.. and if you really want to have fun, google him. He has some choice words about what where he wants the city to go. I’d love to see some competition for every office, however from what i have read this guy doesn’t stand a chance


  121. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Another excuse is money to run a campaign. I believe that’s spread around in order to keep opponents from running. As in races for president, if we allowed fair elections based on the popular vote and not special interests or corporate influence, we may still have a strong middle America and city.

  122. Johnnie Jazz says:

    I don’t care if Mickey the Dunce runs against Joe “tickets” Curtatone — I’m voting for him/her. The level of cheek grabbing Joe has been doing for the new arrivals (aka…”the beautiful people”) at the expense of the rest of us has just reached disgusting levels.

    Joe needs to hit the bricks and look for a real job. Maybe one of his new liberal “friends” will help him? LOL. We all know that ain’t happenin’ as those clowns only take care of their own. Joe is going to learn a hard lesson that all the giveaways he gave them were just that – give aways. Nothing is coming back. It’s how liberals are.

  123. LindaS says:

    Money or not, if enough folks write in a candidate, they’d probably get in.

    Wonder if everyone put “Mickey Mouse” in and HE won, what would happen? :-)

    Seriously, though, I think people need to start thinking now about who could do this job, and consider writing them in on election day. There are some decent people here who have been doing a good job, and who might actually take the position of Mayor if it were offered to them.

    Voters do have some power, and maybe we need to start using it.

    That should be the next Somerville Times Poll of the Week: who do we think would make a great mayor?

    I’d be interested in seeing that one…!

  124. Freebie says:

    Tufts is not an Ivy League school.

  125. LindaS says:

    Getting back to the rat problem,

    Once those condos and apartment complexes are built, I hope that the owners and residents will be making sure they don’t contribute to the rat infestation problem.

    Bad enough we’re already infested with too many people, let alone rats.

    Which reminds me, could someone please tell me:

    Over at Maxwell’s Green, at least 3 times a day, starting around 7:00am, I hear a truck drive over there and empty the dumpster. It bangs so loud it could wake the dead, and certainly wakes the living.

    Is there THAT much waste over there that they need to have it emptied 7 days a week, 3 times a day? Or is it for some other reason?

    I’ve just never had something like that before, and since we only get city trash picked up once a week, I can’t imagine they would need to do it that frequently over there.

    If anyone else lives there or in a similar complex, I’d like to know if it’s something that happens all the time. If it is, then I feel bad for anyone else who’s about to get a new complex built near them, they’re in for a lot less peace and quiet.

  126. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Tufts has the monumental designation of Little Ivy…..

    There is a cure for your obsession with Pixie. Then again, maybe not.

    Good try at your lame attempts of getting me banned.
    I’m not going anywhere. You and your liberal pals will have to deal with us or pack up and join another media outlet. What’s the matter, the other liberal sites won’t have you?

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