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Newstalk – June 24

Next Monday night, June 29, popular Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters will be hosting his first re-election kickoff party on Monday night, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sally O’Brien’s on Somerville Avenue. A great guy and very busy running all over Ward 3, working hard representing his ward, just like Tom Taylor did. Special guest is Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, another local who made good.

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Our View of the Times – June 24

powderhouse_viewWe did it back in 1972 and once again in 2009. And now we find ourselves living in and completely loving our All-America City in 2015.

The National Civic League, based in Denver, CO, bestowed the tile upon the City of Somerville, along with nine other deserving cities, in recognition of its ability to “demonstrate close and effective collaboration among the public, private and nonprofit sectors to identify and advance the progress of key goals shared by the community.”

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Letter to the Editor: Maintaining a Civic Presence in Union Square

Over the past few years, many ideas and plans have been put forward by the City regarding major public and civic buildings in Somerville. This has often involved moving buildings to or from Union Square, yet planning for this has not yet been a significant part of the Neighborhood (Master) Plan currently being created for Union Square. Union Square Neighbors asks that the City’s plans for major public and civic buildings be clarified and that the Neighborhood Plan include planning for public and civic buildings in Union Square.

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Letter to the Editor – June 24

Mayor Curtatone’s Secret Citizen Initiative Will Cause Divide Between City Employees and Residents

On April 14th, an article appeared in The Boston Globe to introduce the Somerville “Secret Resident Program.” Via Somervillema.gov, the goal of the program is: “to evaluate and improve our customer service standards across all City Departments and to better serve our constituents.” The mayor’s office asks for volunteers to go through a brief customer service training session, where the volunteers will be given a “script and an exit survey for every evaluation of City services,” per Somervillema.gov.

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Thanks to a superintendent who led the way

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

We know that people are returning to the urban core and in particular to Somerville. There are a host of reasons why people are choosing to move to our community, from our arts and culture to our diverse local businesses and award-winning services, but there is one reason why families are staying: our schools. That’s a testament to what retiring Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi has achieved over the past decade. Superintendent Pierantozzi moved to Somerville after he was hired in 2005 to lead our schools, becoming part of our community and embracing it. As he leaves us at the end of this month to enjoy a well-earned retirement, we should take the time to thank Superintendent Pierantozzi for what our schools have become and his tremendous work on behalf of all our kids over the past decade.

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The people’s Pope pulls no punches

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

An essential principle of environmental science is that everything is interconnected. An ecology’s climate, geology, and every one of its life forms influence each other.

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Newstalk – June 17

This coming Friday evening from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at 14 St. James Avenue join first term Ward 5 School Committee Member Laura Pitone’s simple BBQ to celebrate her 2015 re-election campaign. Hamburgers, hotdogs and vegetarian options will be served at this informal, family friendly event. Donations are appreciated, but are not required (https://laurapitone.nationbuilder.com/donate). Thanks to Marisa Wolsky for hosting. Please RSVP so they have enough food. If you haven’t met Laura, this would be a great opportunity. She’s a wonderful person and is dedicated to doing a great job on the School Board.

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June 17

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Our View of the Times – June 17

powderhouse_viewThat annual rite is upon us once again. City officials must work together to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year 2016, one that comes as close as possible to serving the wants and needs of as many of us as is practical and doable.

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Letter to the Editor – June 17

To the Editor:

More senior homeowners in Somerville have options to cope with property taxes, thanks to the Board of Aldermen, and Mayor Curtatone, with the leadership of Alderman Mark Niedergang.

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SomerStreets celebrates people-centric public spaces

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

East Somerville kicked off summer and the 2015 SomerStreets season last week with the sixth edition of SomerStreets: Carnaval. People took over East Broadway for an afternoon of dancing, playing music, hula hooping, drawing chalk art, and more. But events like SomerStreets are more than great parties and great opportunities for enjoying healthy ways to get active. They bring people together, build community and are a source of pride for our neighborhoods; if there was one takeaway from Carnaval, it was: “This Is East!” And SomerStreets in particular speaks to one of our shared values and hopes. As our city evolves and we strive to meet the community’s goals of more public space in the most densely populated city in New England, we believe the design and function of our public spaces, streets and otherwise, should be people-centric.

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Newstalk – June 10

CAAS’ Spring Party! This year it is at the Arts at the Armory on Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this event free of charge. Beverages and light refreshment will be served.  CAAS is the local Community Action Agency here in Somerville, “working to end Poverty where we live.” Started back in the early 80’s, they do a lot of good things here in the city. For more information go online www.caasomerville.org or call 617-623-7370.

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June 10

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Our View of the Times – June 10

powderhouse_viewWhatever one’s feelings may be regarding the relative merits of the city’s @SomerStreets events, one thing is clear: a good number of people end up having a really great time for themselves.

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Progress on LGBT rights – and more work to do

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

The rainbow flag is flying proudly in front of City Hall and Somerville High School, raised by members of the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, school and city officials. In June we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, and we have much to be proud of. The cause of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer members of our communities continues to spread. Only 26 years after Andrew Sullivan’s vanguard essay in The New Republic arguing the “conservative case” for same-sex marriage was derided across political lines, we now await a Supreme Court decision that could secure that hard-fought right later this month. Securing the freedom to marry, however, would not be the end of the drive for LGBT equality. As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, we must also remember that around the country, children, their parents, our co-workers and more can face discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Pride Month should also be a time when we recommit to work to ensure that no one in our country is treated like a second-class citizen.

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St. Anthony’s first century of serving immigrants

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

Saint Anthony Church will conduct a series of events to commemorate its hundredth anniversary, beginning with a noon bilingual mass and a luncheon celebrating the Feast of St. Anthony this coming Sunday. A Brazilian festival takes place the following Saturday evening, June 20th. And Cardinal Sean O’Malley will celebrate a centennial mass on September 6th.

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Newstalk – June 3

Tonight, the President of the Board of Alderman, Alderman at Large Bill White will be having his campaign kickoff party for his re-election, which is coming up this year. Wednesday, June 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Cantina La Mexicana, 247 Washington Street (at the beginning of the plaza at Union Sq). Bill has been re-elected President of the Board now for three years in a row and it’s obvious to everyone he knows the rules and how to run an affective as well as productive meeting. Bill has served the entire city as Alderman At Large and wherever duty calls Bill is there, and on top of the issues as well. Just as importantly, Bill is a constituent’s Alderman, representing all of us here in the Ville. Bill does his job well and it’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t like him or appreciate what he’s done for the city. Help support his bid for re-election. Show up and let him know how much we appreciate his independent representation.

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